Song Lyric Sunday: “Creeque Alley”

So, today, Jim wants “a song that features another group or artist in it.” I found one that mentions a whole boatload of musicians and one or two groups: “Creeque Alley” by The Mamas & The Papas. It was written by John and Michelle Phillips. It’s an autobiography of their early days in LA and mentions a number of other musicians, including John Sebastian and Zal Yanofsky of The Lovin’ Spoonful, Roger McGuinn of The Byrds, Barry McGuire of The New Christy Minstrels (who also composed and sang “Eve of Destruction”), and a couple of groups, The Mugwumps (of which the other members of the M&P, “Mama” Cass Elliott and Denny Doherty, were members) and The Lovin’ Spoonful. “Michi” is, of course, Michelle Phillips. Anyway, here’s the song…

The lyrics, from Metrolyrics:

John and Michi were gettin’ kind of itchy
Just to leave the folk music behind
Zal and Denny workin’ for a penny
Tryin’ to get a fish on the line
In a coffee house Sebastian sat
And after every number they’d pass the hat
McGuinn and McGuire just a-gettin’ higher
In L.A., you know where that’s at
And no one’s gettin’ fat except Mama Cass

Zally said “Denny, you know there aren’t many”
“Who can sing a song the way that you do, let’s go south”
Denny said “Zally, golly, don’t you think that I wish”
“I could play guitar like you”
Zal, Denny and Sebastian sat (at the Night Owl)
And after every number they’d pass the hat
McGuinn and McGuire still a-gettin higher
In L.A., you know where that’s at
And no one’s gettin’ fat except Mama Cass

When Cass was a sophomore, planned to go to Swarthmore
But she changed her mind one day
Standin’ on the turnpike, thumb out to hitchhike
“Take me to New York right away”
When Denny met Cass he gave her love bumps
Called John and Zal and that was the Mugwumps
McGuinn and McGuire couldn’t get no higher
But that’s what they were aimin’ at
And no one’s gettin’ fat except Mama Cass

Mugwumps, high jumps, low slumps, big bumps
Don’t you work as hard as you play
Make up, break up, everything is shake up
Guess it had to be that way
Sebastian and Zal formed the Spoonful
Michelle, John, and Denny gettin’ very tuneful
McGuinn and McGuire just a-catchin’ fire
In L.A., you know where that’s at
And everybody’s gettin’ fat except Mama Cass
Di-di-di-dit dit dit di-di-di-dit, who-o-oa

Broke, busted, disgusted, agents can’t be trusted
And Mitchy wants to go to the sea
Cass can’t make it, she says we’ll have to fake it
We knew she’d come eventually
Greasin’ on American Express cards
It’s low rent, but keeping out the heat’s hard
Duffy’s good vibrations and our imaginations
Can’t go on indefinitely
And California dreamin’ is becomin’ a reality

And that’s Song Lyric Sunday for August 18, 2019.

Song Lyric Sunday: “Does Anybody Remember Anissa Jones?”

A while back, I used a quote from Anissa Jones, Buffy on the ’60’s TV show Family Affair, on One-Liner Wednesday. As I was researching that post, I heard rumors of a song about Anissa and went looking for it. I found “Does Anybody Remember Anissa Jones?” by a songwriter named Bill Ratekin that was posted to YouTube a few years ago. It’s a nice way to remember her.

I found the lyrics on a discussion board called The Death Discussion. Ratekin himself provided the lyrics, but someone calling herself Bernadette59 seems to have done a better job of transcribing them.

Does anybody remember Anissa Jones?
Rumor and innuendo was all that was ever known.
And you never did quite make it very far from home.
Does anybody remember Anissa Jones?

And I can still see Mrs. Beasley she’s alone in her chair.
You can almost hear the voice of a little girl who once was there.
And you always wonder what could have been is left unknown.
I bet Mrs. Beasley remembers Anissa Jones.

And I can’t help but wonder as I’m riding through the night.
What on Earth could have been so wrong what was missing from your life.
Why didn’t you turn away from that dark forbidden life?
Fade away, fade to night. Ohhh…..

Does anybody remember Anissa Jones?
Rumor and innuendo was all that was ever known.
And you always wonder what could have been is left unknown
I bet Cissy and Jodie remember Anissa Jones.

And I can’t help but wonder as I’m riding through the night,
What on Earth could have been so wrong what was missing from your life?
Why couldn’t you turn away from that dark forbidden life?
Fade away fade to night. Ohhh…..

And that’s Song Lyric Sunday for August 11, 2019.

Song Lyric Sunday: “There Is A Time” and “A Swingin’ Safari”

Jim’s theme for this week is “song from a TV show.” I have a couple, one with lyrics, one without.

Mary and I watch reruns of The Andy Griffith Show every weeknight on MeTV. We love the simplicity, the old-fashioned morals, the look into small-town world in the middle of last century, and especially the love that the characters show for each other. Music features pretty heavily in the show: Andy playing for Opie and Aunt Bee (and more than one girlfriend) on the front porch; Andy and Barney singing a hymn or an old-time tune while they’re cleaning up the courthouse; Andy, Barney, and the rest of the cast (most notably Gomer Pyle, played by Jim Nabors, who had an outstanding voice) in the town choir; and the informal jam sessions that Andy would have when the Darlings came off the mountain and into town. The patriarch of the family was Briscoe Darling, played by Denver Pyle. Briscoe has five children, four boys and his daughter, Charlene. In reality, the Darling boys (Doug, Rodney, Mitch and Dean, none of whom speaks during their appearances) are played by The Dillards, a bluegrass band from Missouri; Charlene, who shamelessly flirts with Andy despite the fact that she’s engaged, is played by Maggie Peterson (later known as Maggie Mancuso). Maggie came from a musical family, and she, her brother Jim, and two of Jim’s friends formed The Ja-Da Quartet, and would ride on the back of a pickup truck and sing to people. Bob Sweeney and Aaron Ruben, who were producers of The Andy Griffith Show, discovered her during one of her shows and signed her to a contract.

In one of my favorite moments in the show, Maggie and The Dillards play the traditional song “There Is A Time.” I’ll let the scene speak for itself, but notice at 1:23 how Andy stops playing and just watches her sing. One of the comments said “Andy discovered he’s in love with Charlene”; I replied “We ALL discovered we’re in love with Charlene.”

The lyrics from LyricsMania:

There is a time for love and laughter
the days will pass like summer storms
the winter wind will follow after
but there is love and love is warm

There is a time for us to wander
when time is young and so are we
the woods are greener over yonder
the path is new the world is free

There is a time when leaves are falling
the woods are gray the paths are old
the snow will come when geese are callin’
you need a fire against the cold

So do your roaming in the springtime
you’ll find your love and summer sun
frost will come and bring a harvest
and you can sleep when the day is done
The path is new the world is free…
The path is new the world is free…

Now, let’s shift gears a little: I’ve spoken recently about one of my favorite all-time game shows, The Match Game. It existed in two formats, from 1962 to 1969 on NBC, on CBS from 1973 to 1979, and in first-run syndication until 1982. The theme song for the 1962 version of the show was a song from that year by Bert Kaempfert called “A Swingin’ Safari.” It was released as a single, though it doesn’t appear to have charted. Still, it made a great theme song for The Match Game. (Just so everyone knows, Jim pointed out that the creator of the video I had chosen had marked it so no one could embed it; this is the same song, but a different video. Sorry about that!)

And that’s Song Lyric Sunday for August 4, 2019.

Song Lyric Sunday: “The Windmills Of Your Mind”

There are so many great movie songs, particularly from the ’50’s and ’60’s, and since Jim picked the prompt “a song featured prominently in a movie,” I had a hard time picking just one. In the end, I chose “The Windmills Of Your Mind,” from the 1968 movie The Thomas Crown Affair, which starred Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway. Michel Legrand wrote the music for the soundtrack and for this song, with English lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman (the French lyrics were written by Eddy Mamay as “Les Moulins de mon coeur.”). It won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1969. In 2004, it was AFI’s #57 in their “100 Years…100 Songs” survey. Noel Harrison sang it for that movie (after Andy Williams passed on it), and Sting recorded it when the movie was remade in 1999 (starring Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo).

For me, the cover by Dusty Springfield is the one that always comes to mind. She was vehemently opposed to covering it, saying she had no feel for the lyrics, but Jerry Wexler, the president of Atlantic records for whom Dusty recorded her 1969 album Dusty In Memphis, insisted. The album sold poorly despite Dusty’s #1 single “Son Of A Preacher Man” being on it, but has since been hailed as her best work, and in 2001 it was inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame. From 1969, Dusty Springfield, “The Windmills of Your Mind.”

The lyrics, courtesy of LyricsFreak:

Round
Like a circle in a spiral
Like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning
On an ever spinning reel
Like a snowball down a mountain
Or a carnival balloon
Like a carousel that’s turning
Running rings around the moon

Like a clock whose hands are sweeping
Past the minutes of it’s face
And the world is like an apple
Whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind !

Like a tunnel that you follow
To a tunnel of it’s own
Down a hollow to a cavern
Where the sun has never shone,
Like a door that keeps revolving
In a half forgotten dream,
Or the ripples from a pebble
Someone tosses in a stream

Like a clock whose hands are sweeping ….

Keys that jingle in your pocket
Words that jangle in your head
Why did summer go so quickly ?
Was it something that you said ?
Lovers walk along a shore
And leave their footprints in the sand

Is the sound of distant drumming
Just the fingers of your hand ?
Pictures hanging in a hallway
And the fragment of this song
Half remembered names and faces
But to whom do they belong ?

He: when you knew
That it was over
You were suddenly aware
That the autumn leaves were turning
To the color
Of her hair !

She: when you knew
That it was over
In the autumn of goodbyes
For a moment
You could not recall the color
Of his eyes !

Like a circle in a spiral
Like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning
On an ever spinning reel

As the images unwind
Like the circles
That you find
In the windmills of your mind !

And that’s Song Lyric Sunday for July 28, 2019.

Song Lyric Sunday: “Worst That Could Happen”

There were a lot of songs that I thought of that fit Jim’s theme of “Wedding/Marry/Diamond/Ring/Cake,” but ultimately I rejected all of them, because they were a little too on the nose. Instead, I’m going with this gem, “Worst That Could Happen.” It was written by Jimmy Webb, who wrote a lot of beautiful songs like this one, and originally recorded by The 5th Dimension for their 1967 album The Magic Garden. In 1969, a band called The Brooklyn Bridge, led by singer Johnny Maestro, released it as a single, and it reached as far as #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #4 on the Cash Box Top 100. This is a live version of the song that was probably done in the 1990’s, but I liked it better than the original, which didn’t sound as good through my headphone speakers as it did from the 3″ speaker of my radio.

The lyrics from Songlyrics.com:

Girl, I heard you’re getting married
Heard you’re getting married, this time you’re really sure
And this is the end, they say you really mean it
This guy’s the one that makes you feel so safe
So sane and so secure

And baby, if he loves you more than me
Maybe it’s the best thing
Maybe it’s the best thing for you
But it’s the worst that could happen to me

I’ll never get married, never get married
You know that’s not my scene
But a girl like you needs to be married
I’ve known all along you couldn’t live forever in between

And baby, if he loves you more than me
Maybe it’s the best thing
Maybe it’s the best thing for you
But it’s the worst that could happen to me

And girl, I don’t really blame you
For having a dream of your own
Hey girl, I don’t really blame you
A woman like you needs a house and a home, baby

If he really loves you more than me
Maybe it’s the best thing
Maybe it’s the best thing for you
But it’s the worst that could happen

Oh girl, don’t wanna get married
Girl, I’m never, never gonna marry, no no
No, it’s the worst that could happen
The worst that could happen
Oh girl, the worst that could happen

Wikipedia suggests that this song, along with “MacArthur Park” and “By The Time I Get To Phoenix,” were both written about a woman named Susan, with whom Webb had a relationship. Interesting thought…

Anyway, that’s Song Lyric Sunday for July 21, 2019.